William Randolph Hearst

William Randolph Hearst Archive: "I had enough business ability to build up the greatest publishing institution in the world"



William Randolph Hearst Archive: "I had enough business ability to build up the greatest publishing institution in the world"

 

Small archive relating to media tycoon William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951). Comprised of three handwritten notes (100+ words) including a partial signature as "Randolph"; a carbon copy of a typed letter signed in print "W.R."; and unused stationery, ca. 1939. Almost all the pieces were numbered by Joseph Willicombe, Sr. (1874-1948), Hearst's longtime personal assistant. In mostly very good condition, with expected wear including light paper folds, chipped edges, isolated minor loss, and scattered tape. Provenance: From the family of Joseph Willicombe, Sr.

 

The Depression flung William Randolph Hearst's huge publishing empire into tumult. Hearst suffered serious financial reversals beginning in the early 1930s, and while he took steps to offset his debts by liquidating his world-class art collection, personal animal menagerie, and even his mistress's jewelry, he refused to dismantle his company, Hearst Consolidated. These documents show that the though the mogul kept intact his company, he did consent to its reorganization by outsiders.

 

Reproduced with unchanged spelling and punctuation. The lot includes:

 

1. (Willicombe number 754) 1p undated partly printed note with Hearst's pencil-inscribed annotation. On golden rod yellow paper. Reading: "I dont think I ran for mayor twice I ran for mayor once and for Governor once." Hearst was incorrect. He had run for Mayor of New York City in 1905 and 1909, and Governor of New York in 1906. Over time, the left-leaning Hearst became more and more conservative politically.

 

2. (Willicombe number 764) 1p undated partly printed note pencil-inscribed by Hearst. On golden rod yellow paper. At the bottom of this guest list, Hearst wrote: "They must go Monday night. We will go Monday night too or else fly down Wednesday morning."  Hearst's guests included his alleged daughter Patricia Van Cleve Lake (ca. 1919-1993) (passed off as Marion Davies's niece) and her husband Arthur Lake as "Mr and Mrs Lake." Also among the guests was longtime Hearst gossip columnist Princess Conchita Sepulveda Pignatelli (1888-1972) as "Princess Pignatelli."

 

3. (Willicombe number 769) 1p undated note pencil-inscribed in Hearst's hand, on watermarked golden rod paper, including a partial signature as "Randolph." Hearst mentions his twin son Randolph Apperson Hearst (1915-2000) in relation to the condition of trails on one of his properties, possibly the Hearst Ranch near San Simeon. In part: "Tell Randolph Apperson that the trails are bad from the Pear Orchard over the hills to the Burnett…" 5.5" x 8.5".

 

4. (Willicombe number 206) 8pp typed retained carbon copy of a letter written by Hearst and signed by him in print in the postscript as "W.R." Dated May 28, 1939 from Hearst Castle (San Simeon, California), the letter was addressed to Clarence J. Shearn (1869-1953), a Manhattan lawyer whom Hearst had appointed trustee to resuscitate Hearst Consolidated in 1938. On "Office of / William Randolph Hearst / La Cuesta Encantada / San Simeon, California" letterhead. The letter summarizes a recent board meeting and also rejects Shearn's proposed candidate for Hearst Consolidated president, a businessman named John St. Clair Brookes, Jr. (1888-1959), referred to as "Mr. Brookes" throughout our letter.

 

In part: "I realize that I am primarily an editor, and that my business record is far from perfect; but at least I had enough business ability to build up the greatest publishing institution in the world, and to make it pay a profit of twelve million dollars a year…" (p. 8).

 

5. (Unnumbered) Two sheets of pin striped stationery paper with Hearst's facsimile signature "W.R. Hearst" along the letterhead, along with a companion envelope.

 

William Randolph Hearst, whose publishing company still operates today, began his media conglomerate Hearst Communications in 1887, after taking on the San Francisco Examiner. Hearst's newspapers and magazines were extremely popular, thanks in part to his editorial emphasis on “yellow journalism.” This sensationalist way of reporting news events aimed to increase circulation and sales. 

 

Joseph Willicombe, Sr., a World War I veteran sometimes called "the Colonel," joined Hearst Corporation in 1915. He served as Hearst's secretary, amanuensis, adviser, and friend for more than 30 years.

 



WE PROVIDE IN-HOUSE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE!



Item: 66306

Price: $900.00
Qty
William Randolph HearstWilliam Randolph HearstWilliam Randolph HearstWilliam Randolph Hearst
William Randolph HearstWilliam Randolph HearstWilliam Randolph HearstWilliam Randolph Hearst
William Randolph HearstWilliam Randolph HearstWilliam Randolph HearstWilliam Randolph Hearst
William Randolph HearstWilliam Randolph HearstWilliam Randolph Hearst
William Randolph Hearst
Click above for larger image.